If you guys have been with me here for more that 10 seconds, you know that I am a huge, huge, huge sports fan. And the #1 sports love-of-my-life is college basketball. I went to my first college basketball game at five months old, and man, did that obsession ever stick.


If you are a basketball fan, you know that today starts the NCAA tournament (aka: March Madness, The Big Dance, the most nerve-racking three weeks of the year). In this area of the country, pretty much everything revolves around the tournament. Basketball is religion in these parts. And March is our holiest of months.


My team doesn’t play until Friday afternoon, but the first few games of the tournament are today, and I can promise you, I’ll be tuning in. In fact, I pretty much rearranged my schedule this week to make sure I was inside, near a TV during game time.

March Madness isn’t necessarily about your specific team (although, of course, I’d love to see my Hoosiers win a sixth national championship). It’s about the love of the game. Even the years we didn’t make the tournament, I watched as many games as I could. I love March Madness. All of it. Every second of it. Magic happens during the tournament, my friends. Magic.


Of course, I had to pay homage to my favorite time of year with a perfect game time black bean sliders. I absolutely love sliders. And I think they are a perfect option for a game day party. Sure, there is something really nice about a big, juicy burger, but I love the control you have with sliders. Since they are so small, portable and easy-to-eat, you can really craft a perfect, flavorful bite. Plus, everything tastes better when it’s mini, right?


The black bean patties are an incredible, flavorful base for a burger, but the sriracha mayo is the real superstar of this sandwich. If you’ve never had sriracha, it’s a type of hot sauce that’s I personally think is pretty special. Honestly, I’m not a big spicy food fan. I like a little touch of spice, but I’m definitely not one of those folks who carries hot sauce in her purse. The great thing about sriracha is that it has the spice, but it also has a lot of really intense, interesting flavor under the spice. I love sriracha!

You can pick up sriracha in the international foods sections of most major grocery stores. You won’t be sorry.


I know these burgers are technically veggie burgers, but I promise, carnivores and veg-heads alike will love them. I’ve been perfecting my black bean burger recipe for years, and the result is a flavorful patty that is almost the texture of a beef burger—no mushiness here! These burgers freeze beautifully and are a great option for a speedy lunch. I like to make up a double-sized batch of them, freeze them flat, and then stash them in big zip-top bags for easy eating.

black bean slider

Oh, and did I mention that even in mini form, these guys pack a serious protein punch? Each slider clocks in at 11 grams of protein! That’ll help you grow up big and strong, and maybe even help you land that crazy 360° dunk you’ve been working on.

Happy March Madness, friends! May your team of choice make it as far as possible in the dance. That is, until they play Indiana, and then may they cower in sheer terror at our overwhelming amount of talent. Nothing personal.


Slamdunk Black Bean Sliders with Sriracha Mayo

Slamdunk Black Bean Sliders with Sriracha Mayo

Yield: 12 sliders
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Because slider are so small and easy-to-eat, you can really craft a perfect, flavorful bite. These black bean sliders prove it!


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium green pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 12 lettuce leaves
  • 12 red onion slices
  • 12 whole wheat slider buns
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In the basin of a food processor, pulse together the black beans, green pepper, onion, garlic cloves, egg, chili powder, salt, pepper and Sriracha sauce until well-mixed. The mixture will be pretty liquid-y.
  3. Transfer the black bean mixture into a medium mixing bowl, and stir in the breadcrumbs. Form mixture into 12 slider-sized patties and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through baking. Or until the burgers have begun to dry out and turn golden brown.
  4. While the burgers are in the oven, mix together all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. To assemble sliders, place a leaf of lettuce, one slider patty, some red onion rings and a dollop of the sauce onto each slider bun.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 sliders Serving Size: 1 slider
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 816Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 486mgCarbohydrates: 158gFiber: 29gSugar: 4gProtein: 37g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Who is your team in the tournament this year? Who are your betting will take it all?

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  1. I’ve never made any type of veggie burger before, and I’m grain free…. is there anything I could use to substitute the bread crumbs?

  2. I have to say, my biggest internet peeve is people who post comments about recipes – but haven’t actually MADE the recipe! Scrolling through 47 comments that say “this looks good” is maddenin!! I know there weren’t that many comments here, but you get my point. Anyway, I DID make these burgers and they were pretty good. I have never made black bean burgers so I wasn’t sure what the consistency should be. I used my Vitamix instead of a food processor, but I didn’t want to turn it into a purée so I didn’t blend it too much, the downside is that the onions and peppers weren’t completely chopped up. Didn’t affect the burgers at all, just saying. Plus it was a little more difficult to scrape out of the blender container, so next time I would use a food processor. I only used 1 and a half cups of bread crumbs because 2 cups seemed like a lot. It was the perfect consistency, and formed patties very easily. I made 5 full size burgers instead of sliders. They held together well when baked, not crumbly at all. I served them just as pictured with the siracha mayo, lettuce and red onion. They were good, but I felt they were missing something. I’m not sure what, but I think I will play around with seasonings the next time. But generally this is a very good base recipe.

  3. Looks really yummy! I have dry black beans (16oz bag) that I soak and cook. How many cups do you think I should put?

  4. I cant remember if Iposted a review for these or not, but HAD to make sure,lol. These are the absolute best. Since we are vegan I sub a flax egg for the eggs and it works fantastic. My husband who eats meat when he is out says these are his favorite and even prefers the sauce over his ketchup and mustard. In my opinion…..you gotta have the sauce,lol. My 27 yo very picky daughter came over and tried them and fell in love. A week later she brought over supplies and we made a big batch for her to freeze. I make regular size burgers tho. I use a lid that is perfect thickness. I place a strip of parchment paper in bottom then I firmly press mix into the lid and use the parchment to help pop them out, So they are all uniform. I freeze after cooling then simply 40 seconds in the micrwave and your burger is ready to go on a hamburger bun. Thanks so much for this recipe. LOVE IT

    1. I don’t, but there are a lot of great nutrition calculators out there that can help you out. I like this one because it’s easy to use: caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php

    1. You can do either. I like to cook them first, and then freeze them, that way I can just pop them in the microwave for a quick lunch.

  5. These sound amazing! Can’t wait to make them! Do you think substituting greek yogurt for the mayo in the sauce would be ok? Or would it over-power the burger?